Essentials, Functional Fitness, Health

Give Your Core Some Love….part 3

Part 3: The Outer Unit and Where To Start

Where the Inner Unit is designed to offer support as the foundation for movement, the Outer Unit consists of the muscles that move the body. The muscles are larger, typically cross multiple joints and are most visible on the outside of the body. Their relationship is similar to a complex dance where one leads and the other follows, though it appears as they are both moving as one as the relationship is so fluid and in sync.

The dilemma is that because the Outer Unit is visible to the naked eye, it gets all the attention, often at the expense of the Inner Unit. The result is that both will suffer in the end. It is not a matter of if, rather the question is when.

I will be breaking down the Outer Unit in future articles and with it also go in-depth into posture / alignment and the Primal Patterns®. For the moment lets consider what we have already covered.

  • It is obvious that your core is more important than just looking good at the beach. While not everyone is be able to have a “ripped” and defined “six-pack abs” everyone should have a strong, flat, functional abdominal wall.
  • An inability to flatten the abdominal wall is a sign that your body is not functioning properly. With dysfunction, over time, health problems are guaranteed to follow. The body can handle only so much stress before negative changes happen.
  • The challenge is to discover what the roadblock(s) is. The best place to start is with a comprehensive assessment that is holistic in nature, in that it considers all aspects of your lifestyle.
    • You can go to a gym and work out hours every day for weeks, months and years and you will get stronger but may not flatten the abdominals. You may even be doing all the RIGHT exercises, but the root cause lies elsewhere.
    • The true root or cause of the problem may be that you are; consuming the wrong diet, have structural spinal distortions, faulty digestive system, overactive immune system, congested liver (detox pathways), etc. The list is rather extensive.

This may all sound overwhelming. It can be. Get an assessment and I can help. If that is not possible, start with the basics:

  • Eat a whole food diet that includes food grown and raised the way nature intended.  No chemicals or pesticides. Fish are wild not farmed, Animals/Poultry are free range, grass fed, pastured, not indoors in cages, on concrete eating vegetarian GMO grains and other waste products.
  • Drink clean filtered water devoid of harmful chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride. Unless you have an artisan spring in your back yard, a quality water filter is the best answer.
  • Optimize your sleep. Strive for at least 7 if not 8 hours a night. Try to be asleep by 10:30 at the latest. The body heals when you sleep, if you are not sleeping you can’t repair, rebuild or grow.
  • Perform appropriate functional exercise. Do not train beyond you ability to recover.
  • Reduce stressors. Take time to read something for enjoyment, meditate, go for a walk watching nature around you. Play with your kids. Lie on the ground and watch the clouds go by. Get your hands dirty and do some gardening. There is more to life than work, money and expensive toys.

Gaining a flat stomach and being healthy is not easy. You don’t make a decision, pop a pill and wake up the next day with a flat toned abdominal wall. It is all about a lifestyle, one that takes into account who you are and what you want to be.

Be honest with yourself and recognize that living in modern society is stressful. You have to take time to relax, regain perspective, decide what is really important and focus your energy into that. Don’t get distracted by all the new shiny objects that we are bombarded with on a daily basis to keep us from what is important.

I hope you enjoyed the information. I am sure it answered some questions and most likely raised a few more. If you have any feed back I would like to hear it and if you have questions just ask.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s